EOW take AISPA President Melvin Crasto in custody
Hot on the trails of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) charging Speak Asia with money laundering, roughly 2 hours ago or so the All India Speak Asia Panelist Association (AISPA) put out an update on their website stating:
In a surprise move throwing caution to the wind the Mumbai EOW has picked up Mr. Melvin Crasto the president of AISPA for interrogation.
In the past AISPA Secretary Ashok Bahirwani has repeatedly stressed the separation between AISPA and Speak Asia stating that he has no direct contact with Speak Aisa management.
A fortnight ago the EOW stated that Speak Asia was the ‘the biggest multi-level marketing fraud‘ they’d ever investigated, so what exactly the EOW would want with Melvin Crasto (photo right), who is a panelist but publicly has nothing to do with the running Speak Asia, remains a mystery.
Anju Argarwal, who comments on BehindMLM in favour of Speak Asia published the following update on Facebook shortly after the initial AISPA announcement;
Anju Agarwal: the eow is on the lookout for ashok bahirwani.
Currently having a criminal investigation open into Speak Asia, no doubt the Crasto interrogation and lookout for Bahirwani are related. But again, what AISPA and its management have to do with the criminal investigation remains unknown.
I’ve long charged that AISPA are simply the unofficial mouthpiece of Speak Asia, as they often seem to be merely pushing the company line and updates inbetween the infrequent postings to Speak Asia’s official Blogspot blog.
In their initial announcement, AISPA stated that ‘a detailed update will be posted shortly’ but as of yet nothing has materialised.
After the EOW release Crasto (if they decide to), AISPA will have a meeting to discuss the best way to spin the event in Speak Asia’s and their own favour before publishing anything. And who knows how long that will take.
When an update is published by AISPA, no doubt Bahirwani will still manage to somehow push the Speak Asia official line that the EOW are sitting on their hands doing nothing, despite this obviously being untrue.
I imagine he’ll tell us all just how irrelevant the interrogation and questions put forth to Crasto were and that nobody has anything to worry about.
Or he could come clean and just be honest. We’ll have to wait and see.
Still, once further updates come out expect a full analysis. Till then, stay tuned.
The EOW AISPA’s President in for interrogation… interesting indeed and I can’t say I saw that coming.
Update 25/11/11 2:15am – The AISPA update still hasn’t been published, but the big news is that following the EOW picking him up, Crasto has since been arrested.
From Anand Prasad, over at Facebook;
Friends our Melvin Sir has been arrested by EOW Mumbai, We are hopefull to get Update on this matter by tomorrow afternoon.
Relax Jai Speakasia
The President of AISPA is mysteriously arrested and they want people to relax?
What Crasto was arrested for remains a mystery until AISPA/Speak Asia’s unofficial leaders clarify it.
Following Crasto’s arrest it is believed AISPA Secretary Ashok Bahirwani and his sidekick, Aman Azad, have both gone into hiding.
Bahirwani is not taking phone calls and Azad is ‘is fine but away from net‘.
Update 25/11/2011 10:39am – No information yet on what Melvin Castro has been charged with, but he’s due to appear in court later today. A Facebook update by Anand Prasad;
Kind attention all our friends from Mumbai, Melvin Sir is to be produced before Qila court at around 02 PM 1400 hrs.
No further word on the whereabouts or status of Ashok Bahirwani or Aman Azad, or whether or not they’ll make an appearance at court.
Update 25/11/2011 7:21pm – Crasto has been remanded in the EOW’s custody for 7 days (Friday, 2nd December).
Speak Asia’s senior members are still not sharing what Crasto has been charged with. No doubt they don’t want the charges, if they are serious, to dampen the mood come Monday’s Lahoti mediation (which seems more pointless now than ever with Crasto behind bars).
Whatever Crasto has been charged with regarding the operations of Speak Asia, the EOW believe it’s serious enough to hold Crasto in custody so he can’t flee like the rest of Speak Asia’s management.
And if there are no charges, the senior members aren’t sharing what the EOW’s suspicions are either (you can’t just hold someone for 7 days without good reasoning and/or suspicion).
Speak Asia’s senior members insist that Crasto has nothing to do with the running of Speak Asia, nor is he an employee.
AISPA Secretary Ashok Bahirwani remains MIA. Nobody is saying where he is or what their status is.
His sidekick, Aman Azad has come out of hiding now that the hearing is over and has since made an appearance online.
Update 26/11/2011 1:06pm – The Times of India are reporting that Melvin Crasto’s actual name is ‘Melvin D’Costa’. I wonder why he’s using an alias?
“He was not only a panelist but also a prime promoter of the company,” said Rajawardhan Sinha, additional commissioner (EOW).
“He could not explain the transfer of around $3,000 in his account,” he said.
$3000?! Why is the President of AISPA receiving deposits of $3000 from Speak Asia??
Which other top panelists are receiving secret payments from the company?!
Footnote: Whilst I appreciate that Speak Asia’s activities mostly affect Indians in India, please respect that this is an English blog. Comments in Hindi will not be published.